Managing your Succession—Educating New Managers

Home/Publications/Best Practices Newsletter/2008 – Best Practices Newsletter/Managing your Succession—Educating New Managers


April 2008

From the Director

CIDMIconNewsletterJoAnn Hackos

Managing your Succession – Educating New Managers

In several recent conversations with CIDM members, I learned that senior managers are concerned with facilitating the succession of more junior colleagues into their roles. Several years ago, CIDM hosted a New Managers’ Conference to address the issue of succession. The conference was part of the stated mission of CIDM to pass on the knowledge accumulated during the past 30 years to new managers coming along.

Once again, we are considering adding a New Managers’ activity to the CIDM roster of events through a virtual conference, consisting of a series of web sessions directed toward up-and-coming managers. To this end, I am soliciting input from you.

What should a management curriculum look like in our profession? What is the body of knowledge that new managers need to acquire from their more experienced colleagues?

Proposal for a New Managers’ Virtual Conference

Overview: Five Things You Must Know as a Manager

The Quality Triangle and why you can’t escape it

  • Time, cost, quality
  • Adjusting scope to maintain quality

Documentation as warranty

  • What are the legal ramifications?
  • How long must you archive documents?
  • Copyrights, trademarks, and patents

Estimating projects – how to do it and how to do it better

  • Accounting for costs and benefits
  • Measuring quality
  • Building a business case

Herding cats, or why managing writers is so much fun

  • Developing a collaborative environment


  • To test or not to test
  • Qualifications
  • Compatability with the team

Evaluating performance

  • Setting up 360° reviews

Managing up, managing laterally

  • Managing your boss (and you’d better!)
  • Managing when you have no authority (outside your organization)
  • Bribery is okay; coercion is not okay

Identifying the audience

  • Who do the writers think the audience is?
  • Who do the developers think the audience is?
  • How can you determine who the audience really is?

Exercising good judgment

  • Do you need to DO something, or just listen?
  • Do you need to help or stay out of the way?
  • Is the project really in trouble?
  • Staying Out Of Trouble
  • You Are A Leader, Not A Feeder

Moving from individual contributor to manager

  • How can you tell your former peers what to do?
  • Union rep vs. manager
  • Managerial mind-set

The buck stops here

  • Accepting responsibility when things go wrong
  • Giving credit to the team when things go well

Survey coming

Obviously, we have far too many topics to launch a virtual program. To narrow the list and set priorities, we intend to ask more people to contribute. In the next month, we will send out a survey to all members, conference attendees, and subscribers. To prepare, I ask you to consider the input that I’ve already gained from some senior members.

Articles in the Harvard Business Review frequently point to the importance of grooming colleagues to take over key positions in our organizations, especially our own jobs. It’s a process that needs to start early, well before retirement time. You need to look carefully at staff who you believe have the potential to take over your responsibilities. But, in doing so, you need to be quite clear about what your responsibilities are. You also must decide how best to educate your successors. I hope that CIDM can play an important role in that educational process, calling on the wealth of experience and knowledge that our senior members bring to the profession.CIDMIconNewsletter